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Where the fish are biting this week, June 6 report

Here’s how fishing looks this week in the Northwest Lower Peninsula, Northeast Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula, according to the latest report from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Cheboygan: In the Cheboygan River, anglers had success catching small rock bass and smallmouth bass. The occasional freshwater drum, channel catfish and carp were also caught. In Lake Huron, larger smallmouth bass were found in Duncan Bay, and lake trout anglers were reported to be trolling with spoons by Reynold’s Reef.

Alpena: Thunder Bay was still producing decent numbers of walleye for anglers who were trolling crank baits and crawler harnesses. Fish were scattered throughout the bay from North Shore to Grass Island. Those anglers who made long runs to Thunder Bay Island, Scarecrow Island and South Point found bigger concentrations of fish in 14-20 feet of water. Trolling natural-colored crank baits and casting blade baits produced good catches. The 60-80 feet of water range of the outer bay saw good numbers of lake trout, Chinook salmon and Atlantic salmon. With surface temperatures in the low 50s, the majority of fish were in the top 20-30 feet of water. Greens, watermelon and orange-colored spoons were most productive.


Thunder Bay River: Thunder Bay River had an increase in walleye catch. Decent numbers were caught near the 9th Street Bridge all the way out to the mouth of the river. Leeches and crawlers both produced good results, as well as crank baits trolled on and off throughout the day. Catfish, smallmouth bass and freshwater drum were also reported to be caught in decent numbers.

Rockport: Rockport still had good numbers of Atlantic salmon, Chinook salmon, and lake trout, with 30-70 feet of water holding fish throughout the water column. Anglers found more Chinook, Atlantic and coho salmon toward Stoneport. Lead cores covering 15-30 feet of water produced the most success. Near Middle Island, anglers found large numbers of lake trout as well as the occasional salmon when trolling in 50-60 feet of water.

Rogers City: Anglers were reporting limit catches of lake trout. The best depths were reported to be in 50-60 feet of water when fishing close to the bottom. Fishing rocky substrate or deeper in around 70-80 feet of water with fishing lines throughout the water column also brought success. Anglers used a variety of lures, spoons and/or attractors with Spin-n-Glos. Good colors to use were reported to be greens, yellows, blue and silver, silver, pink and white, or white. A few Atlantic salmon, steelhead and coho salmon were also reported to be caught by anglers. Anglers were deploying boards with lead core and copper and running lines in the top 40 feet of water. Regular and smaller-sized spoons were reported to be better for the Atlantic salmon. Bright colors with lots of orange and a mixed spoon with green, orange and silver were all reported to be good colors.

Tawas: A few smallmouth bass were caught in Tawas Bay when casting various artificial baits.


Au Gres: Good numbers of walleye were caught when trolling straight out in 40-42 feet of water with nightcrawler harnesses. Some limits were taken, with most anglers fishing all day to catch them.

Pine River: A few walleye were caught trolling nightcrawler harnesses in the Catfish Hole in 12-13 feet of water. The average number of walleye caught per boat was one to five fish.

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Charlevoix: Anglers targeting cisco reported slow numbers throughout the channel and into Lake Michigan. Those catching cisco found jigging silver and gold spoons produced the best results. Boat anglers trolling for lake trout found success between 75 and 100 feet of water. Trolling green and silver flasher flies, spoons and Spin-n-Glos proved most successful. The occasional steelhead and small Chinook salmon were reported.

Little Traverse Bay: Anglers targeting smallmouth bass reported steady success casting soft plastics and jigs over beds. Fishing the north side of the bay, as well as near Bay Harbor, produced the best results for catching bass. Anglers targeting lake trout found most of their success trolling west of Harbor Springs while using flasher flies, spoons and Spin-n-Glos in 75 feet of water or deeper.


Manistee: Salmon fishing has slowed down. Many of the Chinook salmon caught were small. Fish were scattered, but most were caught about 45-100 down in 150-240 feet of water. Most anglers were successful using blue and green spoons. In the mix came a few lake trout. The piers produced a couple steelhead, a brown trout and cisco using spawn and spoons. Bowfin were also caught on artificial lures.

Frankfort: Anglers reported that Chinook salmon numbers were low, with the big ones seemingly moved out of the area. Several small Chinook salmon were caught around the pier heads as alewives were still in the area. Anglers also reported that lake trout were caught north in Platte Bay.

Upper Peninsula

Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers reported slow fishing. Anglers who fished the head of the bay and near the Escanaba River had little success, although jigging seemed to entice a few to bite. Anglers who fished “black bottom” struggled to achieve any success. First and last light yielded the best action when there was wind, with flat, calm days being less successful. Smallmouth bass anglers reported good fishing when casting soft plastics in the shallows and near drop-offs.

Manistique: Anglers targeting smallmouth bass did well catching bass of various sizes. Anglers targeting walleye reported slow fishing but managed to boat a few fish by jigging or trolling crankbaits. Most of the steelhead were reported to have moved out of the river. Anglers also reported catching pike.


St. Ignace: Anglers reported only coming across individual lake trout when trolling spoons and Spin-n-Glos around Mackinac Island. Those who caught individual lake trout were trolling spoons 40-60 feet deep and using Spin-n-Glos in about 80-120 feet of water. Overall, the water temperature at the Carp and Pine rivers was reported to be a bit too cold for anglers to have much success catching walleye. Walleye anglers at the Carp River were lucky in the early hours using leeches. Anglers at the Pine River caught a couple of walleye using nightcrawlers and leeches on slip bobbers.

Marquette: Boat anglers leaving the lower harbor and trolling from the Chocolay River out to Laughing White Fish Point continued to do well on lake trout and Chinook salmon. The upper harbor saw more anglers on days when the lake allowed, with good numbers of lake trout caught while jigging or trolling around White Rocks and out toward Granite Island. Anglers reported decent fishing for salmon and brown trout in around 40 feet of water from the Chocolay River out to Shot Point. Trolling hot pink crankbaits or green multicolor moonshine glow spoons were reported to have been good for salmon at slightly higher trolling speeds around 2.8-3 miles per hour. Lake trout were being caught while jigging with white plugs around the northeast side of White Rocks. Trolling with green/silver flasher flies between White Rocks and Granite Rock or the Clay Banks at lower speeds of 2-2.2 mph in about 120-180 feet of water also worked well.

Au Train: Anglers reported great numbers of Chinook salmon, brown trout and lake trout, with numbers continuing to rise as water temperatures increase. Most fish were caught in around 40 feet of water along the coast of Scott Falls Honey Hole to 5-Mile Point. Plenty were also caught in 100-120 feet of water north/northwest of the Au Train Island while trolling toward the Laughing White Fish Clay Banks. Hot pink or chartreuse spoons or crankbaits, or green/silver flasher flies, were good color combinations to use.

Le Cheneaux/DeTour: Anglers in the Hessel area reported catching a few pike while trolling out in Mismer Bay. They also caught a few nice-sized perch within the marina in Hessel, but they had to work for them and were constantly changing baits to get the fish to bite. Smallmouth bass were reported to have been caught within the marina as well, and bass were starting to come up shallow onto beds. Lake trout were also caught by anglers launching out of the Hessel marina. In Detour, anglers caught good numbers of Atlantic salmon when trolling around the lighthouse. Many of the fish caught were quality-sized salmon and were found in around 45 feet of water. Lake trout were also caught by anglers trolling through the flats area.

Fishing tip: Fly season is quickly approaching

Although much of what a trout feeds on throughout the year is under the water’s surface, June is prime time for dry fly fishing on the surface for stream trout.

Many aquatic insects, like mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies, found in trout streams emerge during June, making it an exciting time to fish with dry flies that float on the water’s surface. Check with your local tackle shop or fly shop to learn which insects are currently hatching in your area.

Many of the mayfly hatches occur after sunset, so be sure to be familiar with the river you are fishing. Also make sure your headlamp/flashlight is working properly – and have fun!

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